LEON BALOGAN today became Rangers’ fourth summer signing – and Gers are a club he already knows plenty about, thanks to a certain Jorg Albertz.
Growing up in Berlin, a childhood friend was a huge admirer of the Hammer – Albertz, of course, being a true Ibrox icon to this day.
Balogan is thrilled to be following in his footsteps all these years later, and he’s absolutely thrilled to be continuing his footballing journey here in Govan.
Speaking exclusively to RangersTV shortly after signing a one-year deal, he beamed: "It's amazing. I'm coming to a club which has an incredible history and an incredible fan culture.
"I unfortunately haven't witnessed it yet, but I am looking forward to it! On a personal note, my best friend, my oldest friend, was a huge Jorg Albertz supporter.
"That's how I first got in touch with Rangers because of my best friend and the Hammer, so it is a proud moment for both of us - we never really saw it coming but it's immense."
Balogan has just departed Wigan Athletic, having been on-loan there from Brighton since the January window – and it’s fair to say his style of play has won him plenty of admirers.
He’s received a massive number of ‘thank you’ notes from supporters of both clubs for his efforts with them, and he continued: "I'm very happy to get those kind of positive messages first of all. I think I'm a very honest player and a hardworking player.
"On my position, I'll try to play out from the back, but I come with a healthy amount of aggressiveness, a desire to win games and, most importantly to defend the goal."
While the advice doesn’t allow supporters to enter Ibrox just yet, the prospect of playing in front of 50,000 Rangers fans is one which excited Balogan hugely, and he added: "Obviously, to have this kind of crowd behind you in every game at home is amazing.
"I've been lucky enough to experience it, or something similar before in my career at some stages, but I just want to experience it as everyone has been telling me you have no idea just how big it is, and I am looking forward to getting started and getting in touch with them.
"Hopefully, we can have some successes together."
Balogan will join up with his new teammates on Monday ahead of the new campaign – and he is fit and raring to go with the Championship only having finished on Wednesday evening.
He said: "I think it is an advantage for me not to be coming off 14 days or 21 days break so I can come straight to fit into it, work with the team and get to know the team.
"The league starts next week, so I am looking forward to joining the squad and integrating as quickly as possible."